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Reflecting on the Miracle of Life

Reflecting on the Miracle of Life
    Photo credit: Mike Bitzenhofer (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    The world is an amazing place. I am in awe of all the miracles every day. On a special day like today, it’s important to just take a moment and reflect on all the amazing things that have happened in your life so far.

    To give you a starting point, just think about this:

    The exact person you are, born to your parents, on the date and time you were born, with the DNA structure you have has about a 1:400,000,000,000 (that’s one in 400 trillion!) chance of existing.

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    If you don’t call that miraculous, then I don’t know what is!

    One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein, and I find it interesting that a genius with such a scientific mind would be talking about life in this way:

    “There are two ways to live: You can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

    Life…unfolding

    There is so much that can unfold in your life. You are exactly where you need to be right now and all the things that you’ve experienced have led you to this place. But the future is a blank canvas, waiting for you to choose the outcome you desire. Once you understand how you truly are a creator in your life, and take responsibility for all that you have experienced, you become liberated to dream your biggest dreams. You become empowered to know that the world is ever-expanding and your dreams can come true.

    Taking responsibility for your actions in your life means understanding that you have created a lot of your experiences by default. When your worst fears become your reality, it’s because you’ve spend so much time focusing with fear, worry, anger, hurt, shame or any other emotion that is rooted in fear. Most of us do create our lives by default…until we learn that it can be another way.

    The emotions based in love include:

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    • Contentment
    • Optimism
    • Excitement
    • Passion
    • Joy
    • Love (of course)

    When we are feeling those positive emotions, we are in a vibrational level or frequency to attract our dreams and goals.

    I have a tool that I’ve developed called the Joyometer, which is a simple scale to check in on your emotions. (You can download one at  ) It’s what I call a mood management system. When you fall into that downward spiral of negative emotions—those based in fear—you are taking a back seat and allowing your life to happen on a reactive basis. When you are in a positive frame of mind—in the emotions coming from love—you are the master of your universe. You make a conscious choice on how to react to situations. You are proactive and aware of your canvas and what you are putting there.

    Life…unfolded

    Just as a boat without a rudder will be tossed and turned in the ocean by the waves, living in fear has the same effect. But when you put that rudder down into the water, you can suddenly steer the boat and choose what direction you want to sail. Love is that rudder.

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    One of the definitions of a rudder is “something that guides or directs”. When you choose to live your life coming from a place of love, miracles can become common in your life. It’s time to understand just how powerful we are as individuals and harness that power to create our dream lives.

    Just remember: You are a walking miracle.

    Take some time today to reflect and be truly grateful for this wonderful life you have.

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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